AGREEMENT ON GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT

Parties, observers and accessions

The Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA 2012) consists of parties (covering WTO members, counting the European Union and its 27 member states as one party). Another WTO members/observers and four international organizations participate in the Committee on Government Procurement as observers. of these members with observer status are in the process of acceding to the Agreement.

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Parties

Most parties have been bound by the Agreement since its entry into force. Some ratified/acceded to the Agreement at a later date, as shown below. The table also shows the date of entry into force of the GPA 1994 and the GPA 2012 for each party.

Parties

Date of entry into force/accession

GPA 1994
(replaced by GPA 2012 on 1 Jan 2021)

GPA 2012

Armenia

15 September 2011

6 June 2015

Australia

5 May 2019

5 May 2019

Canada

1 January 1996

6 April 2014

European Union
with regard to its 27 member states:

1 January 1996

6 April 2014

Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden

1 January 1996

Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovak Republic and Slovenia

1 May 2004

Bulgaria and Romania

1 January 2007

Croatia

1 July 2013

Hong Kong, China

19 June 1997

6 April 2014

Iceland

28 April 2001

6 April 2014

Israel

1 January 1996

6 April 2014

Japan

1 January 1996

16 April 2014

Korea, Republic of

1 January 1997

14 January 2016

Liechtenstein

18 September 1997

6 April 2014

Moldova, Republic of

14 July 2016

14 July 2016

Montenegro

15 July 2015

15 July 2015

Netherlands with respect to Aruba

25 October 1996

21 August 2014

New Zealand

12 August 2015

12 August 2015

Norway

1 January 1996

6 April 2014

Singapore

20 October 1997

6 April 2014

Switzerland

1 January 1996

1 January 2021

Chinese Taipei

15 July 2009

6 April 2014

Ukraine

18 May 2016

18 May 2016

United Kingdom

1 January 1996 (as a then-member state of the European Union)

1 January 2021

United States

1 January 1996

6 April 2014

 

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Observers 

Any WTO member or observer may submit a written request to the Government Procurement Committee to participate in the Committee as an observer, and may be accorded observer status. The process of becoming an observer is set out by a Decision of the Committee on Government Procurement GPA/1, Annex 1.

WTO members/observers who currently enjoy observer status in the Committee on Government Procurement

Observer government

Date of acceptance by Committee as observers

Afghanistan

18 October 2017

Albania*

2 October 2001

Argentina

24 February 1997

Bahrain

9 December 2008

Belarus

27 June 2018

Brazil*

18 October 2017

Cameroon

3 May 2001

Chile

29 September 1997

China *

21 February 2002

Colombia

27 February 1996

Costa Rica

3 June 2015

Côte d’Ivoire

21 July 2020

Ecuador

26 June 2019

Georgia *

5 October 1999

India

10 February 2010

Indonesia

31 October 2012

Jordan *

8 March 2000

Kazakhstan*

19 October 2016

Kyrgyz Republic *

5 October 1999

Malaysia

18 July 2012

Mongolia

23 February 1999

North Macedonia*

27 June 2013

Oman *

3 May 2001

Pakistan

11 February 2015

Panama

29 September 1997

Paraguay

27 February 2019

Philippines

26 June 2019

Russian Federation *

29 May 2013

Saudi Arabia

13 December 2007

Seychelles

16 September 2015

Sri Lanka

23 April 2003

Tajikistan*

25 June 2014

Thailand

3 June 2015

Türkiye

4 June 1996

Viet Nam

5 December 2012

* Negotiating accession.

International intergovernmental organizations granted observer status in the Committee on Government Procurement

 

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Accession to the GPA 

All WTO members are eligible to accede to the GPA 2012. At present, WTO members are in the process of acceding .   Four other WTO members have undertaken commitments, in their WTO accession protocols, to initiate accession to the GPA 2012.

Pending GPA accession negotiations

Member Application for GPA accession

Albania (currently inactive)

2 October 2001

Brazil

19 May 2020

China

14 January 2008

Georgia (currently inactive)

17 October 2002

Jordan (currently inactive)

19 July 2000

Kazakhstan

2 December 2019

Kyrgyz Republic

19 May 1999

North Macedonia

17 March 2017

Oman (currently inactive)

3 May 2001

The Russian Federation

22 August 2016

Tajikistan

12 February 2015

GPA accession commitments of WTO members that have not yet applied for accession to the GPA 2012

Member

GPA Accession Commitments

Afghanistan

Date of WTO accession: 29 July 2016 WT/ACC/AFG/36, para. 199:

Mongolia

Date of WTO accession: 29 January 1997 WT/ACC/MNG/9, para. 59.

Saudi Arabia

Date of WTO accession: 11 December 2005 WT/ACC/SAU/61, para. 231.

Seychelles

Date of WTO accession: 26 April 2015 WT/ACC/SYC/64, para. 322.

The accession process starts with the submission of an application for accession and has two main aspects. First, it involves negotiations between the acceding member and parties of the GPA on the former's GPA coverage (market access commitments). The coverage negotiations determine the procuring entities and goods and services sectors of the acceding member's public procurement market that the acceding member wishes to open to international competition. Second, the accession process serves to ensure that the acceding member's procurement legislation is consistent with the GPA's requirements — for example, regarding transparency, procedural fairness for suppliers and domestic review.

An acceding member's GPA coverage offer identifies its proposed coverage with respect to four areas:

  • its procuring entities to be covered under the Agreement
  • the goods, services and construction services to be covered under the Agreement
  • its threshold values above which procurement activities are to be covered by the Agreement
  • exceptions to the proposed coverage.

The disciplines of the GPA 2012 only apply to the entities, goods and services sectors and contract values (above certain financial thresholds) specified in a GPA party's appendix to the GPA 2012. Typically, the parties to the GPA 2012 cover most entities at the central government level as well as entities at the sub-central government level and other entities, such as state-owned enterprises.  

The GPA 2012 also provides important flexibilities for developing country parties to manage their transition to a more internationally competitive government procurement regime. Pursuant to Article V of the GPA 2012, special and differential treatment for developing countries in the form of transitional measures such as offsets, price preference programmes, initially higher thresholds and phasing-in of entities, can be negotiated by a developing acceding country in the accession process, subject to the agreement of the other parties and the acceding member's development needs.

Once the terms of accession have been agreed between the GPA parties and the acceding WTO member, the Committee adopts a decision inviting the member to accede to the Agreement. The decision specifies the agreed terms and provides a timeframe for the acceding member to deposit its instrument of accession with the WTO Director-General (typically three to six months).

For a comprehensive compilation of documents relating to accessions, please refer to the Note by the Secretariat entitled “Systematic Compilation of Documents Concerning Individual GPA Accession Processes”, which is updated periodically to reflect the latest documents (GPA/S/1).

The WTO Secretariat provides technical assistance to assist developing country WTO members interested in learning more about the GPA 2012 and/or acceding to the GPA 2012. Where appropriate and desired by accession candidates, other intergovernmental organizations (e.g. regional development banks) or governance-focused institutes may also provide technical assistance with regard to GPA accession.

Accession to the GPA 2012  provides important benefits for the parties to the GPA, their entities and suppliers. These include:

  • potential trade gains based on legally assured access to the covered foreign procurement markets
  • ensuring a transparent, competitive and predictable government procurement regime,
  • contributing to good governance in this sector
  • keeping markets open in times of crisis where the temptation for protectionism rises
  • in the context of acceding candidates, the GPA can help to reform the government procurement sector in line with international best practices, and lock in the benefits of such reforms
  • improved public, supplier and investor confidence in the government procurement system, potentially stimulating inbound foreign direct investment
  • enhanced competition for contracts, leading to improved value for money outcomes
  • facilitating a more effective and efficient use of public resources.

The GPA provides a useful tool for optimizing value for money, good governance and trade objectives in the government procurement sector. Participation in the GPA also affords the opportunity to influence the future evolution of the Agreement.

 

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